Joseph Molleur (chair), Steven Sacks

Major: A minimum of nine courses, to include the following:

  1. REL 101 and 222;
  2. A minimum of one Bible course, chosen from the following: REL 243, 244, 251, or 252;
  3. Either PHI 203 (Logic and Critical Thinking) or 355 (Philosophy of Religion);
  4. REL 388; and
  5. A minimum of four additional Religion courses, chosen such that both of the following criteria are met: (a) all four courses may not come from a single religious tradition, and (b) at least three of the four must be at the 300 level. Up to two of the following courses, each with substantial religion-related content, may be included in the nine courses required for the major: ANT 210 (Religion, Magic, and Witchcraft), 308 (Ritual, Symbol, and Behavior); ART 265 (Ritual Arts of the African Diaspora), 361 (Saints and She-Devils); CLA 216 (Classical Mythology); ENG 326 (Milton); PHI 301 (Asian Philosophy), 355 (Philosophy of Religion); and SOC 370 (Religion, Spirituality, and Community).

Minor: A minimum of five courses in Religion, to include the following:

  1. REL 222; and
  2. A minimum of four additional Religion courses, chosen such that both of the following criteria are met: (a) all four courses may not come from a single religious tradition, and (b) at least three of the four must be at the 300 level.

101. Introduction to Religion
Role of religion in human experience, with attention to theories, methods, and issues in the study of religion. (Humanities) SACKS or STAFF

222. Religions of the World
Comparative survey of the major world religions, including Hinduism, Buddhism, Confucianism, Taoism, Zoroastrianism, Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. Systematic attention to historical interrelations among traditions as well as differences in worldview and the significance of these differences for understanding human nature and culture. (Humanities) MOLLEUR

243. Origins of Israel
Introduction to the historical development and character of Israelite religion through its representation in Hebrew Scriptures and relationship to neighboring societies of the Ancient Near East. Consideration given to the problem of textual interpretation, as well as to the differences between the traditional and critical approaches to the Bible. Alternate years. (Humanities)

244. Issues in Hebrew Bible
Focus on a particular issue or skill in the study of the Hebrew Bible. In the framework of a critical engagement with the Biblical text, the course will focus on issues such as Biblical Hebrew language, religions of the Ancient Near East or archaeology and Biblical history. Particular issue will be specified in the current Course Schedule. Alternate years. (Humanities)

251. Jesus in the Gospels
Interpretation of Jesus in early Christian literature, focusing on the theological and historical problems in the Gospels. Alternate years. (Humanities) MOLLEUR

252. The Epistles of Paul
Life and writings of the apostle Paul, with special attention to the theological controversies that surrounded his proclamation of the Christian faith. Alternate years. (Humanities)

265 through 270. Topics in Religion
Topics vary according to specialization or interest of instructor. See Topics Courses.

280/380. Internship in the Practice of Religion
Participation in the activities of a religious organization or institution. See Courses 280/380.

290/390. Individual Project: see Courses 290/390.

324. The Hindu Vision
Hindu worldview as embodied and expressed in this tradition's major teachings, rituals, and social practices. Primary focus on such classical texts as the Vedas, the Upanishads, the Bhagavad-Gita, and the Ramayana. Some attention to developments within modern Hinduism, with particular emphasis on the writings of Mohandas K. Gandhi. Prerequisite: sophomore standing. Alternate years. (Humanities)

325. The Buddhist Way
Primary teachings, formative figures, and major movements in the development of Buddhist thought in India, Tibet, China, and Japan. Special attention to the Buddhist understanding of reality, analysis of the human condition, and path to Nirvana or Enlightenment. Prerequisite: sophomore standing. Alternate years. (Humanities)MOLLEUR

326. The Islamic Path
Muslim beliefs and practices, theology, law, and rituals in the context of the historical development of Islam into a world religion, with attention to contemporary topics. Prerequisite: sophomore standing. Alternate years. (Humanities)

327. Religions of China and Japan
This course focuses on the character and development of Chinese and Japanese religions. Particular emphasis will be placed on the figures, movements and literature of China's and Japan's "major" religions (Buddhism, Confucianism, Taoism and Shinto) within their regional, social and cultural contexts. Some attention will also be given to NRM's (New Religious Movements) and the reception of "western" philosophy and religion. Prerequisite: sophomore standing. Offered every third year. (Humanities)

342. Judaism
Basic concepts, practices, and worldview of post-Biblical Judaism. Background readings in the history of Jewish people, religion, and thought. Prerequisite: sophomore standing. Offered every third year. (Humanities)

343. Issues in Contemporary Judaism
Focus on a particular issue or skill in the study of post-Biblical Judaism. In the framework of a critical engagement with the relationship between post-Biblical Judaism and the Hebrew Bible, the course will focus on issues which impact the conception of Jews and Judaism during the rabbinic, medieval and modern eras. Issues which will be addressed will include: Judaism and Islam, modern Jewish philosophy, Kabbalah, or the myth of the "original" Israel. Particular issue will be specified in the current Course Schedule. Prerequisite: sophomore standing. Offered every third year. (Humanities) SACKS

353. Christian Foundations
Original development of some classic ideas of the Christian faith, with special emphasis on the idea of God. Texts will include the writings of such formative figures as Justin Martyr, Irenaeus of Lyons, and Augustine of Hippo, with attention to early Church councils and creedal documents. Prerequisite: sophomore standing. Offered every third year. (Humanities)

354. The Protestant Revolution
Major figures and movements that contributed to the division of Western Christendom into Protestant and Roman Catholic communities. Primary emphasis on the writings of Luther, Calvin, and the leaders of the English Reformation, concluding with consideration of the activities and writings of John and Charles Wesley, founders of Methodism. Prerequisite: sophomore standing. Offered every third year. (Humanities)

356. Christianity in America
An examination of several of the central figures and movements in the history of American Christianity, including the ideas and experiences of Protestant and Catholic Christians, conservative and liberal Christians, black and white Christians, and male and female Christians. Prerequisite: sophomore standing. Offered every third year. (Humanities)MOLLEUR

359. Issues in Christianity Today
Focus upon a particular issue that is of concern in contemporary Christianity. Among the issues that may be highlighted are: the question of faith, the problem of evil, modern concepts of God, the reality of religious pluralism, and feminist theological critiques of traditional Christianity. Particular issue will be specified in the current Course Schedule. Prerequisite: sophomore standing. Offered every third year. Not repeatable, even when topic is different. (Humanities) MOLLEUR

362. Holocaust and Response
Social and theological developments in the articulation of Judaism in Europe as shaped by the watershed events of the Nazi Holocaust. Attention to the problem of evil and the claim that basic changes in Jewish and Christian religious understandings are now inevitable. Prerequisite: sophomore standing. Offered every third year. (Humanities)

363. Suffering and the Sacred
This course examines diverse biblical response paradigms concerning human suffering as found throughout Jewish and Christian traditions. Paradigms we will explore include: Lament and protest as prayer form; redemptive suffering and self-sacrifice; liberation from social/political and psychological oppression; forgiveness; defiant joy as spiritual resistance; and relinquishment or shedding of Ego-mind including amid the pain of spiritual growth known as Dark Night of the Soul. These meaning making responses and coping strategies, as well as hope amid affliction, are undercurrents throughout the course. Includes Liberation Theology (black, womanist, and feminist), Holocaust Theology, and Contemplative/Mystical Theology. Prerequisite: sophomore standing. Offered every third year. (Humanities)

366 through 370. Advanced Topics in Religion
Topics vary according to specialization or interest of instructor. See Topics Courses. Prerequisite: sophomore standing.

377. Religion and Literature
Examination of religious themes in modern literature, including works by such authors as James Hilton, C.S. Lewis, and Bernard Malamud. Prerequisite: sophomore standing. Offered every third year. (Humanities)

379. Religion and the Artistic Imagination
Exploration of relations between religion and the visual arts, applying theoretical or other insights to concrete materials of European artistic tradition or a non-Western culture. Individual or group-directed study based on ART 256 (Italian Renaissance Art), 257 (Medusa's Gaze: Art in the Age of Galileo), or 266 (American Indian Art: Gender and the Marketplace). Details of other readings, testing, etc. to be worked out with instructor. Available by student request. Prerequisites: two Religion courses and permission of instructor. (Humanities)

382. Issues in Religious Method
Focus on a particular issue as it relates to methodology in the study of religion. In the framework of a comparative approach and an engagement with the methods of the discipline, this course will consider such issues as: religion and violence; Messiahs, Gurus and other saviors; and ritual and belief. Particular issue will be specified in the current Course Schedule. Prerequisite: sophomore standing. Offered every third year. (Humanities)

388. Seminar in Perspectives on Religion
Exploration of advanced issues in the study of religion, treating selected theoretical perspectives as they apply to diverse religious traditions. Content will vary from course to course. Emphasis on individual research. Prerequisites: three Religion courses and junior standing. Alternate years. (Humanities)

511. Hebrew Reading Group (1/4)
Maintenance and development of Hebrew language skills through reading of the Hebrew Bible. Texts selected in consultation with the students participating. Course meets once a week for a semester. Prerequisite: permission of instructor. (CR) SACKS